2014 NBA Finals: Ranking the 15 Best Players

By Cody Williams

Top 15 Players In 2014 NBA Finals

Top 15 Players In 2014 NBA Finals
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The 2014 NBA Finals will get cranked up starting on Thursday night. As we all know, we’re going to be treated to a much anticipated rematch between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs featuring a number of future Hall of Famers. Looking through the rosters, though, who are the 15 best players that will be in the 2014 Finals?

15. Norris Cole

15. Norris Cole
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15. Norris Cole

15. Norris Cole
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There are a lot of guys that could have come in at the bottom of the top 15 for this purpose, but I think Cole brings more to the table than other candidates. Though he has a propensity to make poor decisions at time, he’s also a sparkplug off of the bench that keeps the Heat’s offensive machine up-and-running.

14. Chris Andersen

14. Chris Andersen
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14. Chris Andersen

14. Chris Andersen
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Birdman definitely isn’t the most talented player on this list, but he does so many things that are vital to Miami’s success. With him in there as a rim-protector and a guy who can clean things up in the post, Andersen is a key asset for the Heat.

13. Marco Belinelli

13. Marco Belinelli
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13. Marco Belinelli

13. Marco Belinelli
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One of the most lethal shooters in the series, Belinelli is really an x-factor for San Antonio. So much of the Spurs’ success is dependent upon the success of their role players and Belinelli may be the most important of those role players. If he can get going from the perimeter, he’s a huge weapon for his team.

12. Danny Green

12. Danny Green
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12. Danny Green

12. Danny Green
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Along the same lines as Belinelli, Green is another Spurs role player that can have a big impact on the Finals. We all know that he can come up big and fill it up from long-range, but he’s also going to be looking to redeem himself after a poor showing for much of last year’s Finals.

11. Mario Chalmers

11. Mario Chalmers
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11. Mario Chalmers

11. Mario Chalmers
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Though he’s often only recognized for getting yelled at by his team, Chalmers is a high-quality NBA point guard. He manages the offense well, distributes well, and knocks down quite a few big shots for the Heat, which earns him a good deal of respect from my end.

10. Tiago Splitter

10. Tiago Splitter
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10. Tiago Splitter

10. Tiago Splitter
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This might have been somewhat laughable to have Splitter on this list last season, but he’s improved a great deal in the past year. While the small-ball of Miami could cause him some problems in the Finals, Splitter could also, in-turn, cause the Heat some problems as well.

9. Boris Diaw

9. Boris Diaw
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9. Boris Diaw

9. Boris Diaw
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This might seem crazy, but Diaw has been phenomenal for the Spurs this season and especially in the postseason. The big man has been energetic and engaged and has also given San Antonio several flurries of offense that have increased or secured leads for his team. Definitely don’t sleep on Boris.

8. Ray Allen

8. Ray Allen
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8. Ray Allen

8. Ray Allen
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Allen may be another year older and his defense may be suffering, but his offense is still lethal as a weapon for Miami. More than that, you have to imagine that his shot from game six of the 2013 Finals is still playing in the Spurs’ heads, giving him another advantage.

7. Kawhi Leonard

7. Kawhi Leonard
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7. Kawhi Leonard

7. Kawhi Leonard
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Kawhi may be the best two-way player the Spurs have in this series. He proved last year that he can be an effective defender against Miami and has another chance to prove it again. Moreover, he provides important offense for the Spurs in a variety of ways. It’ll be interesting to see how Leonard can step up in his second Finals appearance.

6. Chris Bosh

6. Chris Bosh
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6. Chris Bosh

6. Chris Bosh
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Because of all that he does for his team, it feels strange having Bosh this low on this list. However, that’s a testament to how much talent is in this series and less of a knock on Bosh. Speaking only about the Heat big man, he’s their x-factor and has to come up big in this series.

5. Manu Ginobili

5. Manu Ginobili
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5. Manu Ginobili

5. Manu Ginobili
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Revitalized this season, Ginobili has been a monster for the Spurs. While he may not have all of the flash that he once did, he’s been a force for San Antonio in getting them this far. He’ll need to be better this year than he was in last year’s Finals, but you can’t deny the veteran’s talent.

4. Dwyane Wade

4. Dwyane Wade
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4. Dwyane Wade

4. Dwyane Wade
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Another case of revitalization, the Heat’s management of Wade’s minutes this season is paying dividends. He’s looked much like his former self in these playoffs and has been a handful for every opponent that the Heat have had. He’ll indubitably be a factor in the Finals as well.

3. Tony Parker

3. Tony Parker
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3. Tony Parker

3. Tony Parker
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When healthy, there’s no denying that Tony Parker is one of the best and most effective point guards in the league. However, the question that we’re facing in the Finals is just how healthy the veteran Spurs guard is. Dealing with an injured hamstring, he’ll need to be unhampered to be at his full effectiveness against Miami.

2. Tim Duncan

2. Tim Duncan
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2. Tim Duncan

2. Tim Duncan
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I struggled to figure out where to place Duncan on this list, but couldn’t justify any lower than two. He may be nearing the end of his run in the league, but he’s still dominant when he’s on the floor and one of the steadiest presences in the NBA. The Big Fundamental is still fundamentally one of the best.

1. LeBron James

1. LeBron James
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1. LeBron James

1. LeBron James
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It’s no surprise that the best player in the NBA is also the best player in the Finals. LeBron has proven over these playoffs that, even if he doesn’t have the MVP trophy from this season, he’s the best player in the league and that he isn’t planning on slowing down any time soon.

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